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B8 Rethinking Gender (project completed)

Rethinking Gender, Sexuality and the Body in a Transcultural Art World

Coordination: Susanne Enderwitz, Barbara Mittler, Christiane Brosius, Gita Dharampal-Frick, Inken Prohl, Melanie Trede


Rethinking Gender, Sexuality and the Body in a Transcultural Art World, a series of four one-day workshops to take place in 2009 in Heidelberg, Germany, are organised by project B8 "Rethinking Gender, Sexuality and the Body in a Transcultural Art World" as part of the interdisciplinary research cluster “Asia and Europe in a Global Context: Shifting Asymmetries in Cultural Flows” at the Heidelberg University (for more details, please view the other subprojects on this site).

Objectives of the Workshops

Western scholarship has traditionally looked at 'the Oriental body' as a static, clichéd entity representing the Otherness of an alien culture. Research of the past couple of decades, however, considers the intrinsic conceptual complexity and historically specific coding of bodies, genders and sexualities by analyzing the transformative conditions of indigenous traditions as well as the dynamics of social and transcultural interactions. While current trends do take on global aspects of gender issues (e.g. the exhibition “Global Feminisms”, Brooklyn Museum of Art, 2007), there is still much demand for closer investigations into flows of concepts between Asian and European cultures, an understanding of asymmetries in the perception, representation and public discourse relating to the shaping and fashioning of bodies within a host of frameworks and discourses (e.g. political, religious, economic), particular aspects of sexualities, gender relations, and contemporary artistic and everyday practices.
The four one-day workshops take place in 2009 and are focused on the following themes, respectively:

Theorizing Gender in a Transcultural Art World (April, 20-21)
Representations of Sexualities in Asian and European Cultures (June, 8-9)
Rethinking the Religious Body (October, 5-6)
Gender and Body in the Contemporary Arts (December, 16-17)
These complex fields of inquiry are chosen to address key issues of the cluster by including expertise in the chief regions with a focus on asymmetrical and/or shifting flows of concepts and practices, by considering the longue durée of these topics and by integrating both scholarly and practical approaches from various disciplines. The conference proceedings will be published in monograph form in 2010. The publication will appear within a series of monographs produced by the Cluster "Asia and Europe in a Global Context” at the University of Heidelberg. 

Contact (for organisational matters): Lucia Banholzer  

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